Honeycutt: Noble Character
By: Jim Honeycutt
In the life of a small-town church, one could always predict which Sunday services would have greater attendance. Around Christmas people usually participated to a superior degree, but by far the most attended worship service was Mother’s Day. Since my parents made sure we participated in Sunday School (which took place prior to services) I often discovered by the time I got out and made my way to the sanctuary it was filled with visitors. Some had grown up here, moved, and were just back visiting their mothers. Others only came this one Sunday a year. Regardless of the circumstances let me just emphasize it was packed tight with families trying to all sit together. My mother sat in the choir and my father was an usher, so I could sit just about anywhere, as long as one or the other could observe me during services. Not that I ever acted out during church mind you. Once all were seated in place, the Pastor would stand and greet all in attendance. A tradition we had in our small country church was the recognition of all the mothers present. Corsages were then presented to individual women in different categories, the youngest mother, the oldest mother and finally the mother with the most children present. Usually the same ladies received flowers year after year, but occasionally someone new was there, taking home the prize. Once finishing up all the Mother’s Day preliminaries, the services would begin. After all the Mother’s Day sermons I have heard in my lifetime, I can testify in some form or fashion the topic preached has been the wife of noble character as recorded in The Book of Proverbs chapter 31:10-31. At a young age I could just imagine how many kids were checking off the list to see if their moms met the criteria laid out in Scripture. Over the years I have read and reread these passages without giving the due reflection they deserve. Thinking, incorrectly, they weren’t addressing me. Then a few months ago The Lord brought these passages to mind with a slightly different view than I had been taught or contemplated before very deeply. So what I would like to do is include the passage allowing you to read it, asking you to view the characteristics described. And rather than assigning them to a mortal woman, observe them in the context of The Bride of Christ, The Holy Church. As you go through them ask yourself, when I mull over the church in the United States today, do I perceive them? Is the Bride of Christ the witness it is called to be? Does she bring the Honor and praise unto The One who called her? Understand I am not singling out any particular denomination or creed. I am solely talking about the Church as it is taught as a single entity in The New Testament. The scripture reads as in the ESV………..
An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax and works with willing hands. She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands, she plants a vineyard. She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.
If you are so inclined please pray about this and I will share with you next time I write some of the things, I have meditated about. Be blessed as you seek understanding about God’s truth.